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Thompson on Hollywood

Crafts Roundup: The Year of Immersive Sound in Survival Films

In the year of survival, sound has taken on supreme importance as an authentic, driving narrative force, and with the advent of Dolby Atmos, the theatrical experience has never been more immersive. "Gravity," "All Is Lost," "Captain Phillips," "Oblivion," "Rush," and "12 Years a Slave" are among the standouts in space, at sea, in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, on the dangerous Formula 1 track, and in physical/spiritual imprisonment.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 5, 2013 2:16 PM
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'Iron Man 3' Crushes Weekend Competition, But Can't Save Box Office: 'Pain & Gain' Plummets

Disney and Marvel are chortling with glee at the massive global success of "The Iron Man 3," finally adding late arrival North America to its huge foreign openings. The domestic numbers rank a bit below what "The Avengers" did one year ago, but overtaking that number was a tall order. Even so, $175 million for the weekend is at the high end of expectations, with the best news coming from Saturday's modest drop from the initial number.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • May 5, 2013 12:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Iron Man 3' Outpaces 'Avengers' Worldwide Grosses and U.S. Top 10 Totals

The big news this weekend: Disney/Marvel's "Iron Man 3" opened in most of the world between Wednesday and Friday; its $195 million gross in 42 territories is running ahead of even last year's "number one global blockbuster "The Avengers," which initially grossed $185 million in similar dates.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 28, 2013 12:50 PM
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More 'Pain' Than 'Gain' in Friday Box Office

The expected May blockbusters can't come quickly enough. Yesterday's top 10 grosses, including two underperforming new releases with prominent stars, had the smallest total since early February. At $23 million, this marked not only a sharp drop from last week's $29 million, but last year's $28 million, as the slump of 2013 continues.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 27, 2013 3:36 PM
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Leading Men Age, But Their Love Interests Don't

Vulture's Kyle Buchanan published an amusing yet disturbing feature charting the age difference between A-list leading actors and their female romantic counterparts. Among the actors scrutinized were Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise and George Clooney.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 26, 2013 4:24 PM
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Learning to (Re)Love Tom Cruise

"Tom Cruise was really doing it. He was really hanging off the building," writes Taffy Brodesser-Akner in a warm essay for The New York Times about the enduring star, who is now age 50. She's recalling the scene from "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" in which Cruise, rather than a stunt double, scaled the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 20, 2013 4:29 PM
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'Oblivion' Hauls in Nearly Half of Friday's Top 10 Gross

With much of the nation's eyes glued to coverage of the Watertown manhunt (which ended after 9 p.m. E.D.T.), Universal's Tom Cruise-starrer "Oblivion" still managed a solid $13 million opening day gross (which includes early shows late Thursday night). The total for the Top 10 films for the day overall was around $29 million, down from $39 million last year and $32 million last week. Grosses for the rest of the weekend will likely improve with competition from real-time drama no longer a factor.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 20, 2013 4:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Tom Cruise's 'Oblivion' a Mediocre Mission, Francois Ozon's 'In the House' Liked by Critics

Tom Cruise apocalyptic vehicle "Oblivion," which is expected to score about $30 million when it opens wide this weekend, is a rare thing these days: a movie that arrives full-blown from the head of its filmmaker. While critics agree that Joseph Kosinski's spectacular piece of grown-up sci-fi boasts impressive visuals, some complain that the familiar sci-fi rehash -- unfavorable comparisons to "Total Recall" keep coming up -- bogs down the film.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • April 19, 2013 2:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Immersed in Movies: 'Oblivion' Director Kosinski Talks Creating Original Sci-Fi Landscape Starring Cruise

With a looming summer season packed with post-apocalyptic sci-fi--from "After Earth" (June 7) and "World War Z" (June 21) to "Elysium" (August. 9)--it's a good thing that director Joseph Kosinski's "Oblivion" is first out of the gate. This Tom Cruise-starrer about a blue collar drone repairman haunted by dreams of a woman he's never met stands apart from the competition, mainly because architect and video game designer Kosinski's follow-up to "Tron: Legacy" is a passion project he's been developing for eight years that allows him to strut his visual stuff.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 19, 2013 2:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Can Cruise and Universal Make Kosinski's Sci-Fi 'Oblivion' a Global Hit? Review and Roundup

Tom Cruise went overboard praising Universal execs at the premiere for Joseph Kosinski's "Oblivion" (April 19). "I've been doing this a few years now," he told the Dolby Theater crowd. "Making films today, it takes a village, as artists it's about problem solving." You need the studio behind you, is what he meant: they need Universal to do a good job selling this movie, which started to open April 10 around the world and has already earned $70 million overseas.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2013 1:43 PM
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  • 4 Comments

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